In business, companies are always looking for new techniques to ensure customer loyalty and capture new customers into a relationship of lifelong loyalty to their brand. Believe it or not, there is a very simple, even old school technique for garnering this kind of loyalty from your customers. It's simply aligning your business brand, whatever that may be, with customer service. You may not think something as simple as this can actually generate new business, but It would be a mistake to discount it because of its simplicity. Once again, we must go back to the age old customer service and fast food comparison to make this clearer. When people think of a fast food restaurant such as McDonald's, what do they think about? It may vary, but often the first thing that comes to mind is poor customer service and unhealthy food. When people think of another fast food restaurant such as Chick-Fil-A, they are usually associated with phenomenal customer service paired with tasty, all natural food. The success of Chick-Fil-A is apparent with their recent expansion into the Northeast with their new restaurant in New York City. Meanwhile, McDonald's business troubles are also apparent with their decline in the business sector and their new gimmicks such as all-day breakfast menu. There is a clear alignment between customer service and a company's brand. While there are many steps that go into this shift in a customer service based initiative, there are two that make the most difference.
When things happen with a business, customers tend to have a way of generalizing that can negatively or positively affect your business, depending on the situation. The easiest way to combat this psychological predisposition is to simply only give them the opportunity to make positive generalizations or comparisons. This may seem like an oversimplification of the problem, and in reality it is. This is because positive generalizations are not the problem. Negative ones are the ones that can ruin your business seemingly overnight. The best way to handle these are by addressing the issues and taking accountability for the things that anyone in your employment or the business as a whole may have done wrong. Customers appreciate when a business genuinely cares about their individual business, acknowledges their complaints, and goes the extra mile to make amends.
Often, employees in higher positions that oversee company accounts, make predictions about the future profitability of a company are not on the ground interacting with customers. They make decisions everyday that impact customers and the future of the business, but they do not account for day to day relations between their employees and those customers they depend on for their livelihood. In order for a business to be truly successful, all employees should care what the customer is thinking and feeling. Having someone on the ground whose sole job is to communicate with customers is important. Yes, that is what customer service representatives are for, but it is important to make sure every employee is willing to listen to the customer's feedback and communicate appropriately. It is also helpful to implement anonymous, incentive based surveys where customers can evaluate employees and if appropriate so employees can evaluate each other. In the long run, accountability and communication are key.